EP 6: Talking Border Collies- Instinct and Talent in Ogden Valley, UT

Border Collie

What you’ll learn about Border Collies and the role genetics and instinct play in dog species:

  • Border Collies are herding dogs that require exercise and training
  • Working dogs require obedience training, exercise, and brain stimulation
  • Connections with their “person” are vital to their lives
  • Early training begins very young and develops essential bonding to their person, obedience training, and exposure to the world to develop confidence
  • Personality characteristics of Border Collies and how to manage them if you do not have sheep for them to herd

Welcome to another episode of Free Range Dogs Podcast

In this episode, Web talks to Shauna Gourley, owner of Flock ‘n Paws Training Facility in Plain City, Utah, and Alamo, Nevada where she trains, competes in sheep herding trials, and occasionally breeds Border Collies. With more than 25 years of experience, she is an expert on all things Border Collie.

Shauna and Web discuss the personality and temperament of Border Collies: they are fiercely intelligent and active dogs that require obedience training, attention, and activities that stimulate their brains.  They have been bred to herd sheep, and they are driven to perform the activities they are trained to do. 

Border Collies that are living with people and families that do not herd sheep will need to find other activities to channel their intelligence and energy level.  Shauna mentions several types of activities that would work well such as scent work, agility training, dock diving, and trick training. They are not suitable for situations where they will only have the outlets of going for walks or chasing a ball- both of which are fine activities, but Border Collies need more to be manageable.

Web and Shauna discuss other breeds of working dogs and their genetic needs.  Different dogs have different instincts and talents and ways of interacting with the world and their humans.  It is important to be realistic about yourself and your lifestyle and to have some idea of your dog’s genetic background and breeding to make a wise decision for you and your dog.

Shauna currently has two different training facilities. The one in Plain City, Utah is open April through October and offers a variety of services which include instinct testing, sheep herding lessons, obedience training, and taking dogs to competitive herding trials.  Instinct testing is something people will do when they have a border collie and are curious about its instincts and abilities. Her other facility is in Alamo, Nevada, which is approximately 1 ½ hours northwest of Las Vegas and is open from November through March.  Here the dogs and sheep are mostly on desert terrain in contrast to the green hills in Utah.


Shauna Gourley of Flock ‘n  Paws.

Contact Information:  https://flocknpawsfarm.com

Or Text Shauna at:  801-388-8073